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Derrick Brown Foregoes NFL Draft–Says Auburn Is a Special Place

Derrick Brown will return to anchor Auburn's defensive line in 2019 (photo: USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL Draft looms large in college football’s offseason. Who will go, who will stay is always a concern for fans. It’s a popular point of interest from the end of the bowl season to the January 14th deadline for underclassmen to declare.

At Auburn, quarterback Jarrett Stidham, cornerback Jamel Dean, and wide receiver Darius Slayton have all announced they will enter the draft. Slayton’s announcement Friday was a bit of a surprise. But perhaps the biggest surprise came yesterday when Tiger defensive lineman Derrick Brown told fans he would return for another year.

With the birth of his son coming just days before the Music City Bowl, many expected him to leave for the pros. It’s hard to imagine the draft waters being any warmer for him than this year. If he dove in, he was expected to be a solid first round pick with at least one prognosticator postulating he could go as high as the 4th overall pick.

One of the most touted prospects in this spring’s draft class, he totaled 9 1/2 tackles for loss and three sacks in 14 games during 2017. This year he finished with 10 1/2 tackles for loss and had 4 1/2 sacks in 13 games. 

The 6′-5″, 325-pound All-SEC defensive lineman has a chance to be among the top 10 picks in this spring’s draft. No one would blame him if decided to leave early for the NFL.

However, it appears his love for Auburn is greater than the allure of fame and fortune. The possibility of injury or lowering his NFL stock with another year of college ball is a risk he’s willing to take.

We shouldn’t be surprised. Auburn has a way of causing people to fall in love with her. That’s particularly true of those who are fortunate enough to wear the orange and blue. And Derrick Brown is no exception to that rule. On Sunday he made the following announcement via Instagram.

The last three years have been amazing. Auburn has become a second home for me. Nothing compares to Saturdays in Jordan-Hare. Seeing the fans down Tiger Walk, running out of the tunnel with my teammates and singing the fight song after a big win. This place is truly special.

After talking with my family and coaches I have decided to return to Auburn for my final season. I want to leave Auburn with my degree and a championship. I can feel the momentum.

War Eagle Derrick. May all your dreams come true!


  1. WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

    This is good news for fans. And another good thing for Derrick is he might have a chance to play with his brother. Kameron Brown is a linebacker from Lanier High and was offered by Auburn last week.

  2. dyingculture dyingculture says:

    This is huge news not just because of having a great player. The 2019 Tigers now have a leader, and a face of the program.

    • AUglenn says:

      Agree it’s huge for Kevin Steele’s defense to have Brown’s talent and Leadership on the 2019 D.

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..You can’t put too much stock into the NFL draft, and even college recruiting prognosticators. I’ve seen Derrick Brown oft mentioned as most likely to go, a lot this past fall. Now he gets a chance to have a legendary finish to his Auburn career! It would be interesting to ask Carnell and Ronnie about their choices to stay and play one more year…

  4. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    And Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. has announced his return to Auburn also.

  5. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    Yay! War Dam Eagle then.

  6. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Lots of guys coming back on the defensive side. Marlon Davidson announced that he’s returning, and so is Javaris Davis. Auburn’s defensive line is going to be a terror, next year. And we’ve got corners Igbinoghene and Davis who’ve been through the wars. Jeremiah Dinson and Daniel Thomas are coming back for their senior seasons, too. We could have a fabulous year, if we get a quarterback established!

    • dyingculture dyingculture says:

      No matter what anyone says about Gus, it’s clear that the players want to win with him. If they were just lukewarm about him and the program, they would just bail and go to the NFL draft. I can’t say I have seen anything like this in the modern college football era. At least four players who were sure NFL draft picks have decided to return.